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15 May 2015


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It is fair to say that, whilst PNG is copping much of the blame for not progressing West Papua's push for independence, it is also equally important for the greater Melanesia (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands & Fiji) to unite in solidarity for this course.

This could be more effective if, as members of the MSG, they agree to support West Papua's course by taking certain measures unilaterally.

One of them could involve having the "West Papua" agenda included in all their bilateral talks/trade with Indonesia.

Then as a unfied body MSG could petition the Pacific Islands Forum (including New Zealand and Australia) to recognise the plight of the West Papuan people.

Once it is agreed, the Forum could adopt the similar strategy to include "West Papua" in its bilateral talks/trade.

Down the line it can then petition the UN to take action to address the issue of West Papua's independence.

If Melanesia is not united the best PNG could do, given its proximity to Indonesia and its obvious weaknesses, is only to resort to a "safe game" for security reasons.

Dr Clement Waine, something that was never an integer (whole) before the 1960's cannot and must never be espoused and paraded as such.

Indonesia may have been classed into an emerging country by some economic bulletins, but the entire world doesn't view her with that lens.

West Papuans are blood, bile and butt Melanesians in every sense of the word and so freedom and self-determination is worth our support.

West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia and will remain that way until internal dynamics within Indonesia change. PNG must recast its relations with Indonesia in a new light, given that country's emergence in the new global order.
understanding the emerging situations in Indonesia and the issue of West Papua becomes tractable.

As previously discussed on PNG Attitude, the supposed act of self determination by West Papua, whereby it became part of Indonesia, was a travesty, merely providing Indonesia with a seemingly legal means of seizing the country.

Melanesia collectively clearly lacks the means to dislodge the Indonesian occupiers by force, even assuming this was thought to be an intelligent plan.

Its best hope lies in presenting a united front to the rest of the world, demanding a genuine act of self determination for West Papua, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Many countries, including Australia, would be able to support such a position and exert diplomatic pressure on Indonesia to allow such a plebiscite.

Indonesia knows this and is using both rupiah diplomacy and unspoken threats to reinforce its position.

Consequently, now is the time for clarity of purpose on this issue amongst Melanesian countries.

Instead, we see prevarication and back flipping: these are all signs of the current weakness and, perhaps, indifference of Greater Melanesia towards the fate of West Papua.

The former colonial powers like Britain, Australia and the Netherlands cannot lead the task of liberating West Papua: their history effectively precludes this.

However, they can be recruited to the cause as allies provided it is led by Melanesian countries.

To my way of thinking it should be to the USA and China that Melanesia turns its attention on this issue.

Both powers potentially have reasons to support the cause, based upon both history and their search for political and economic influence in the broader Pacific region.

What is certain is that it will take some exceedingly deft diplomacy to create the conditions under which West Papua is to have any chance to seize control of its own destiny.

You are right, Busa Wenogo. Indonesia knows the weaknesses of MSG and Pacific island countries. It knows most of them are weak and fragile.

Did you notice the front page photograph in The National newspaper of our prime minister and the Indonesian president raising their glasses in a toast on Monday 11 May?

President Widodo's glass was raised higher than Peter O'Neill's. Some of us in Wabag discussed that.

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